Pofa be!

Tíz év telt el a Cornelia Rau ügy óta. Most jön a folytatás. Egyelőre – időhiány miatt – csak a megfelelő linkeket közlöm.

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The most important political consequence of the Cornelia Rau affair was the report of the Palmer inquiry itself. According to Palmer, the two main sections of the immigration department that had been responsible in recent years for depriving thousands of people of their liberty – detention and compliance – were staffed by basically untrained officers ignorant even of their own department’s instructions and rules. The detention and compliance sections were dominated by what Palmer called an “assumption culture”. If someone was locked up it was assumed their incarceration remained legal. If someone showed signs of deep depression it was assumed that was normal. If someone criticised policies or practices it was assumed they were driven by political agendas and ought to be ignored. Even though the department deprived people of their liberty it had no sense of urgency. Officers were not encouraged to use “common sense”. Routinised procedures had in all circumstances to be obeyed. The department was, as a consequence, “process rich and outcome poor”. No one took responsibility for individual cases. Everyone saw themselves as a “bit player”. In the face of criticism, the instinct was to be “self-protective and defensive”. The department was incapable of “self-criticism”. Its culture was one of “denial and self-justification”. Such problems were by no means found only in the lower ranks. The rot began at the top.

In the history of the Australian Commonwealth, there has never been a more devastating assessment of the work of a major department of state than the one contained in the Palmer report.

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